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May 18, 2011

Keep your Facebook on lockdown, yo.

In this post: Jaimy shares three quick tips on how to increase the security of your Facebook® account …

Jaimy SzymanskiI’m pretty gangster. Everyone who knows me, knows that. I mean, why else would I so diligently watch History Channel’s Gangland?

(If your answer is, ‘Jaimy, it’s because you’re out of control. You watch it only to update your Excel spreadsheet of U.S. gangs and their related colors and signs because you’re paranoid you will find yourself in the bad neighborhood of a large city and not know the way of the street,’ then you’d be correct. My street cred runs deep these days.)

Just because I may not be as badass as my cat thinks I am, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t heed the advice of this blog’s title. Facebook security is no joke, especially in the rise of hackers, spammers and spoof attacks associated with the social network. But, have no fear: there are a few account settings you can quickly change that will boost your profile’s security to the point of ‘menacing club bouncer’ status.

Ensure you’re logging into a secure URL.
Translation? Change your account settings so that when you log-in to Facebook, the URL in the address bar begins with https:// not the usual http://. This mitigates the chance that cyber criminals will gain access to your account, especially in public places. To put it on lockdown (yo), follow these steps:

  1. Once logged into Facebook, click the Account drop-down menu in the upper right.
  2. In the drop-down menu, click Account Settings.
  3. In the Settings tab (should be the default), on the same line as Account Security, click Change.
  4. Check the box next to Secure Browsing (https).
  5. Save!

Set up log-in notifications for computers that are not yours.
If you could get an e-mail notification any time a computer other than yours logs into your Facebook account, that’d be the bees knees, right? Right! So, let’s set that up, too. While you’re already in Account Security (see steps 1-3 above), do the following:

  1. Check the box beneath Login Notifications.
  2. Save!

Now, after you log in from your home computer, you’ll be asked to give it a name (i.e. My Laptop). Then, any other computer you log in from will also require a name upon login. So, in the future, if anyone logs in under a computer that is NOT yours, you will be notified via e-mail. W00t!

Go all out, and set up unique password access for computers that are not yours.
The final Account Security option that you can take advantage of allows you to only let computers (other than yours) log in to your Facebook account if they have a unique password. Once foreign computers try to log in, an alert is texted to your cell phone that includes a unique password for log in. Without the password, no one can access your account (if from a computer other than yours).

To set this up, follow steps 1-3 in the first set of directions above, then:

  1. Check the box beneath Login Approvals.
  2. Save!

And, there you have it: three simple ways to boost your Facebook’s security settings in less than five minutes. Of course, there are plenty of other privacy and application settings we could delve into that would make your Facebook experience even safer, but those are for another post.

Did I miss any of the big ones here? Do you have any other quick Facebook settings changes that can help thwart Facebook foes?